THE Crown Prosecution Service was this week considering whether to re-open the case of a teenage intruder's death after an inquest sensationally ruled he had been unlawfully killed.
John Butterworth, 49, formerly of Water Street, Accrington, was accused last July of murdering 19-year-old Daniel Freeston, who had walked into his house demanding money.
Mr Freeston was on bail at the time, charged with raping a teenage girl at a house party, and Mr Butterworth was due to give evidence against him.
The charge against Mr Butterworth was dropped in November after the CPS decided not to pursue the case. It is believed that the case of Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, jailed in 2000 for killing a 16-year-old intruder, was a major factor in the decision.
But at last week's inquest Coroner Michael Singleton recorded the unlawful killing verdict.
The inquest heard that Mr Butterworth, who has since left the area, had put Mr Freeston in a headlock until he stopped breathing, turned purple and lost consciousness.
A post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death was pressure on the neck.
Mr Singleton said: "It seems to me there must have come a time when Daniel Freeston was no longer offering any resistance. At that time John Butterworth was no longer acting in self-defence."
The inquest had been told that Mr Freeston, a former pupil of Moorhead High School, was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he went to Mr Butterworth's house and he was breaking his bail conditions by being there.
A CPS spokesman said they had received a file on the case from Mr Singleton within the last few days. This was being studied by lawyers and a decision was likely to be made later this week.